Vancouver is a vibrant coastal city intermingled with nature and bustling with life. If you love mountains, the ocean, and trees, then Vancouver is the place for you! Like a number of other cities in Canada, Vancouver is a very multicultural place and one can often find a sushi shop within meters of a Greek taverna or a quaint European boutique. Vancouver boasts of a temperate climate, and despite the rain in the fall and spring season it is especially beautiful in the summer when the weather is not too hot.
Vancouver is home to the University of British Columbia, and our medical school has four distributed sites throughout the province, in Vancouver, Kelowna, Prince George, and Victoria. Being a popular city to visit, Vancouver is home base for the exchanges that take place here, but it is quite feasible to take a ferry across to Vancouver Island to visit Victoria, the capital city of BC on a sunny weekend.
We hope you will select Vancouver as your exchange destination and to experience the beauty of the Northwest!
Vancouver is home to top-notch universities. The University of British Columbia being the largest public university in BC and holds an international reputation for excellence as well as being among the top rankings in the country and worldwide. UBC currently has close to 60,000 students in its Vancouver and Okanagan Valley campuses and over 15,000 faculty and staff. UBC also has its own health care facility on campus, the UBC Hospital, with several specialties in acute medicine, general surgery and psychiatry.
Vancouver also has several general and specialized hospitals, including the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH), the second largest hospital in Canada and the busiest in the province. VGH has a state of the art emergency and trauma center, receiving almost 80,000 emergency department visits per year. Specialty hospitals include the British Columbia’s Children Hospital and the BC Women’s hospital and health centre. Vancouver is also home to St. Paul’s Hospital Downtown, Richmond Hospital in Richmond, Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver and Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster!
More information on these hospitals can be found here:
Our Local Exchange Officers here will secure accommodations for your stay – this will typically be a student dormitory, a homestay, a shared room or apartment, or basement suite. If you are planning to stay more than the assigned month of your exchange, be aware that cheap accommodation close to where most of the major hospitals and research institutes are may be difficult to find in metro Vancouver; however, we will try our best to reserve the same place for the entire duration of your stay and address any of your housing concerns.
Lodging is provided for 4 weeks only; beyond that you must pay for your own lodging although we will try our best to find a location for you or to secure your original location for an additional period.
Vancouver is a big city but getting around is easy! You can take a combination of buses and Skytrain to quickly find your way around Vancouver and the Greater Mainland. It is very easy to plan a trip thanks to the Vancouver Transit system’s website www.translink.ca, where you can enter any address you would like to go to and times and it will give you the exact buses and trains you need to take as well as their arriving times. You can virtually get anywhere you need to with transit system. UBC also has a very large bus loop with a variety of buses departing and arriving at all times.
Regular fares depend on the zone you travel to and the times. Before 6:30 pm on weekdays the fares are $2.75, $4 and $5.50 for zones 1, 2 and 3 respectively, with zone 1 covering most of Vancouver area. After 6:30 pm and during the weekend you can get to all zones for the fare of $2.75, perfect for a weekend trip! Monthly passes are also available and information can be found here.
Carsharing services are available if you have an interantional driving liscence:
- UBC Campus in its sunny glory
- Life Sciences Building (home to the UBC Faculty of Medicine)
- Museum of Anthropology
- Granville Island
- Vancouver Art Gallery
- Vandusen Garden
- Stanley Park
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Lynn Canyon
- Grouse Mountain
- Jericho or Kitsilano Beach
- Vancouver Aquarium
- Science World
- Malls: Oakridge Mall, Richmond Centre, Aberdeen, Metrotown, Pacific Centre
- Any of Vancouver’s shop-lined streets (e.g. 4th Ave., Granville, Robson, Main St., Yaletown, Gastown)
- Sporting events (e.g. BC Lions’ football, Vancouver Canucks’ hockey, Vancouver Whitecaps’ soccer).
If you coming here for exchange, airport pick-up service will be organized for you and at the time we will give you a brief overview for how to navigate the city as well.
We wish you a safe and memorable trip here in Vancouver – as with all cities in the world, please keep personal safety in mind, and we strongly recommend you to keep in touch with your Local Exchange Officers for advice or if you have any concerns. At the same time don’t forget to make the most out of your weekends to explore this beautiful city!